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Published on : Sep 08, 2014

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have made noteworthy advances in the area of X-ray use for determination of crystal structures. The very first research on use of X-ray for determination of crystal structure was pioneered almost a century ago by Sir William and his son Sir Lawrence Bragg. Sir William was a Nobel laureate. Associate professors Christopher Sumby and Christian Doonan at the Adelaide University’s School of Chemistry and Physics, and their research team have developed a new material that can effectively test structures with the use of X-rays without having to crystallize the substance.

The year 2014 happens to be the International Year of Crystallography which recognizes and acknowledges the significance of this century year old science which has been playing a very important role in our modern day technological developments. 

Hitherto, this area of science has continued to provide valuable insights into material structures. Interestingly, this research study at the University of Adelaide is the perfect example of the same. This research is enabling the researchers to understand and analyze newly occurred chemical reactions and potential chemical reactions which cannot be studied via normal crystallography.

The researchers make use of a metal-organic framework, a new nanomaterial which is used to bring together the metal complex catalyst and its chemical reactants. After doing this, the structures of the reaction products can be studied with the help of X-rays without the need for isolating the product of grow crystals.

On the assistance of the Australian Research Council and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund, this research is being carried out at the Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials.